Have you ever experienced a bout of depression? We’re not talking about clinical depression necessarily, but a sense of feeling down, ‘the blues,’ or as though you just didn’t want to get up and get moving certain days. Most of us have, and usually it’s not a major concern unless it becomes significant or prolonged. For aging seniors, though, depression could ultimately impact safety, so it’s important to be aware of it, address it as early as possible, and be honest about it.
How could depression be a safety concern for seniors?
If an elderly person wakes up one day with a feeling of loneliness, isolation, or frustration because he or she is no longer physically capable of doing some of things they used to enjoy, that can lead to depressive symptoms. This doesn’t mean they will be clinically depressed by any stretch of the imagination, but it could cause them to stop participating in various activities, including those deemed physically beneficial.
When you were depressed, did you really want to get up and play a game with friends, go to the tennis courts for a match, or even head out to the field to take part in some recreational activity? Probably not. Maybe you forced yourself and that was a good thing because physical exercise helps to release endorphins in the brain which allow us to feel a little bit better, but if physical activity is already difficult for you, you’ll be much less inclined to participate.
If that happens for a person in their 70s or 80s, it helps to exacerbate muscle loss, which will make it far more difficult to do basic tasks they have taken for granted for decades. When those challenges build, it can have a snowball effect on their emotional state of mind, thus leading to even more depression and starting the cycle even earlier and possibly moving it along a bit faster.
When people lose strength, their safety becomes compromised.
Many seniors move slower, take more time to go up and down stairs or get up from a chair, and feel less secure and safe while doing various tasks around the house. If that elderly senior is also depressed, it could make things even worse. That’s why it’s a good idea to consider home care services.
A qualified and experienced home care aide can provide physical assistance and even emotional encouragement to an elderly client so he or she gets up, gets moving, and stays active in those Golden Years. They can all have a direct impact on emotional health and well-being as well as safety.
If you or an aging loved one are considering home care to improve senior home safety in Matawan, NJ, please contact the caring staff at Lares Home Care 888-492-3538 or 732-566-1112.
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